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Subject: More than a Risk clone by FAR. rss

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Will
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It s been a while since my last review so I think it would be nice to start my new wave with this game.

War on Terror is a satirical world domination game. All over this game are drawings, quotes and mechanics that mock the actual war on terror and the struggle between the pseudo-empires that think they rule the world these days.

I think this game is even more than a game, a simulation of the hipocresy nations worlwide conduct their BUSINESS masking it as HUMANITARIAN AID when in fact its all about revenue and politics.

Beyond the Political factor the game is far better than the inspiration: RISK, with a lot of twists and strategies to look for and a diplomacy factor that can determine the outcome of the winner or winners based on how you conducted your TREATIES and TRANSACTIONS with the other players... including the Terrorist or The Evil Empire.



COMPONENTS

Lots of things you can see in the picture, but to make it short lets round everything in:

1 cool map

400 plastic counters representing villages, towns & cities or in the case of the terrorists vanguars, columns & terrorist cells.

180 bank notes

3 dice

47 Terrorist cards

65 Empire cards

15 radiation counters

60 oil counters

1 BALACLAVA

Eventhought the tokens are just cones & generic chips the components are of a good quality including the BALACLAVA OF EVIL that is included and that is a blast in a multiplayer game.

The map is very cool and sturdy and everything fits the RISK theme.




OBJECTIVE

Win by conquering a certain number of LIBERATION POINTS that are earned by contriling entire continents or in the case of the EMPIRES by also building cities.




GAMEPLAY

1) Roll the ACTION DIE
2) Play cards, build or upgrade developments AND/OR buy CARDS
3) Get 2 FREE CARDS
4) Buy TERRORISTS (Only if you are the terrorist player)
5) Roll the OIL DICE

Gameplay is quite simple yet strategy is very important. The cards allow you to wage wars on your opponents but to steal cards and do a lot of nasty things including NUKE them or working with the terrorists to deal a low blow to your enemies.

If there is a terrorist player he/she gets cards from the Terrorist deck that is mostly filled with bombermen, hijacks, extorsion and well an arsenal of elements designed to hit as much as possible the rest of the players. Also at some instances the EVIL AXIS arrow must be rolled to determine an EVIL EMPIRE that can use both EMPIRE and TERRRIST CARDS.

EMPIRES and TERRORISTS work very similar but the difference is that the TERRORIST player can BUY TERRORISTS while the EMPIRES can only work with THEM.

This creates an interesting scenario because as an EMPIRE in order to win you have to make some NASTY DEALS with the so called ENEMY or even with the AXIS OF EVIL. The price of your triumph is usually FREEDOM ITSELF but these days who thinks of that when OIL is in such demand

There are some complexities that add to the game like the interaction between players not only in the fact they can bargain almost EVERYTHING... THREATEN the other players, making ALLIES, BETRAYING SOME... sending them SECRET NOTES... and this is what makes the game a BLAST with many players.

I wont go deeper on the rules but one important thing to never forget is the advantage the EMPIRES have over the TERRORISTS on the fact that CITIES add LIBERATION POINTS while CELLS dont. And also that in order for an EMPIRE to win they only have to have developments in the places they control while the TERRORISTS need not only to have developments but also to remove the presence of the EMPIRES in the continents they wish to control. Still the TERRORISTS have powerful cards on their deck that can unbalance a game if they turn sooner.

The are some common victories that bother some people like WORLD PEACE or the WORLD BECOMING TERRORIST but the truth is if any of these conditions apply its because players havent played the game very well. WORLD PEACE requires the players to pass their turn without any action so the game ends. And the world BECOMING TERRORIST is just a way of adding another TIE when players have played for a while and they cannot find a strategy to win alone. These are ways to define a TIE, nothing more (and are completely absent on a 2 players game).




FINAL THOUGHTS

I enjoy this game very much. Have played more than 15 times with most of them being two player games with my GF. I found interesting that the two player games lasted an hour tops while the 3 o 4 players game lasted over 2 hours as the winning conditions end up being different. A multiplayer game usually if it is won by an empire requires HEAVY NEGOTIATION while a two players game beyond the THREATS have very little negotiation or even the presence of a TERRORIST PLAYER. Still the two players game is FANTASTIC.

I love that you do not JUST roll dice to attack an opponent but you have cards that define the level of complexity that success require on a certain attack. Some war cards have partial damage or even collateral damage. You can steal cards from your opponents, search the decks, fund terrorist units, use them to attack the empires, earn money in various ways, become terrorist and so on and on... SO MANY RESOURCES to have a FUN game you will be amazed !!!

I love the theme and how it is portrayed. Even thought it is satire you can see the complain behind the joke. The message behind the humor that makes you think that politics are a huge game for some people that play with the world like you do with this game.

As my GF eloquently put it this is RISK with the FUN FACTOR. Be sure if you like RISK you will find here the Perfect Natural Evolution if you have the sense of humor to stomach the Political References of course.



And how to forget the BALACLAVA OF EVIL. A masterful choice to include it in the box. We have a lot of fun wearing it and is such a great DETAIL that makes this game a favorite of mine that will remain in my collection till the next end of the world and beyond
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Scott Hill
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willdesigns wrote:

...
4) Buy TERRORISTS (Only if you are the terrorist player)
...
EMPIRES and TERRORISTS work very similar but the difference is that the TERRORIST player can BUY TERRORISTS while the EMPIRES can only work with THEM.
...


This is incorrect. To quote from (page 4 of) the 2nd Edition rules:

Quote:

AN EMPIRE PLAYER’S TURN
There are two types of player: Empires and Terrorists. At the start of the game, everyone is an Empire.
Every turn follows the same structure:
1. Roll Action Die
The number rolled on the Action Die determines
how many developments an Empire is allowed to
build during their turn.
2. “Play”
During the main part of their turn, in any order, Empires may:
• Buy up to 2 additional Empire cards at 50m each.
• Play any amount of cards they hold in their hand.
• Develop up to the amount of developments indicated by the Action Die. (Developments - p.5)
• Place any terrorists from their Training Camp anywhere on the board.
3. Buy Terrorists
Players may buy terrorists from the World Bank. These terrorists are held off the board in your ‘Training Camp’
and cannot be used until your next turn.

4. Draw 2 Free Cards
Draw two free Empire cards.
5. Roll Oil Dice
Players roll the oil dice to finish their turn. All Empires with a development
in a country bearing a matching oil number receive oil revenue, unless
it’s blocked by a Radiation Counter or stolen by a terrorist Cell.


(emphasis mine)

The 1st Edition rules say pretty much the same thing, except you're allowed to bring terrorists directly in to play in that edition.
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Will
Argentina
Buenos Aires
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Reseñas de Juegos Argentinos
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You are definitely right
 
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